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Pop, a security guard at Paramount has told his son that he's the head of the studio. When his son arrives in Hollywood on shore leave with his buddies, Pop enlists the aid of the studio's dizzy switchboard operator in pulling off the charade. Things get more complicated when Pop agrees to put together a show for the Navy starring Paramount's top contract players. Written by
Daniel Bubbeo <email@example.com>
Shortly after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the US mobilized unlike any society before or since.
A large part of that was because of a very cooperative media, especially the new medium of movies. The White House asked them to rush some feel-good films into production and this was paramount's first response. It is a collection of skits wrapped in a thin story. Most of the skit material is in the form of a "show" for sailors, but many of them inexplicably use cinematic conventions that couldn't be staged.
Because this was stitched together so quickly, it is of widely varying tone and quality. I suppose the parts you like will depend on who you are.
There's a pretty big, lush production number (ostensibly a movie being shot that some sailors visit) that has atypically svelte and acrobatic girls. Later, there's a number where black straight man Rochester dances pretty well.
So far as comedy, there are two classic scenes here that made this enjoyable for me: This was Betty Hutton's first big role and she does Lucy better than Lucy I think. One scene is a hilarious attempt to climb over a wall with the aid of two men. It's amazingly physical, worthy of Keaton. Check her out in "Perils of Pauline," also directed by Marshall, who seems to have understood her.
The other comic bit worth seeing is Bob Hope trapped in a shower with William Bendix, and avoiding being discovered. Hope's not a great comic, in fact he falls flat elsewhere in this project. But this one skit is perfect for him.
Preston Sturges is one of the main figures in folded films (films about film), and he plays himself here, screening a film.
Ted's Evaluation -- 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
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